Executive Intelligence Review


Malaysia and China To Revise Major Belt and Road Rail Project

Feb. 21, 2019 (EIRNS)—Malaysia has become one of the poster-countries for the anti-China mob’s attacks on the BRI, claiming that when Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad returned to power last year, he cancelled the rail and other projects to avoid the “Chinese debt trap.” However, Dr. Mahathir was one of the first national leaders to commit to attending the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April, and now is on the verge of reaching a renegotiation of the important East-West high-speed rail project.

Mahathir has consistently maintained that the postponement or cancellation of the projects was not the responsibility of China, but due to the corruption of the previous Najib regime, which diverted billions of dollars from Najib’s One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), leaving the country with huge debts.

On Feb. 19, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah announced that China was willing to reduce the $20 billion cost of the East-West rail, while also reducing the size of the project. “China understands our constraint, and they are willing to scale down the size of the project and the cost,” Saifuddin told the press. “The discussion is probably in the last mile.”

Saifuddin also reported that Malaysia intends to re-open its Embassy in North Korea after the upcoming Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. Relations were broken when Kim Jong-un’s brother was killed in the Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017.